Theists, I want your best reasoning
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07-12-2014, 08:05 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(07-12-2014 06:47 PM)Gaest Wrote:  Sorry for the late response, didn't see it the first time around, and have been busy with work most of the weekend.
I don't often get these kinds of challenges, so it might be a bit jumbled. Feel free to ask if there is something I need to clarify Smile

(04-12-2014 06:47 PM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  "Not sure if serious." Is pointlessly dismissive and I apologize.


Shit, I didn't even see that xD No, worries I get that from time to time in here.

Quote:This always happens, we get sidetracked on Q's trail of bullshit, turn around and 8+ pages have passed without any progress being made by anybody.

Yeah, seems to be an unfortunate pattern.

Quote:So yeah. What you actually wrote:
That's all about your emotional investment in your beliefs. It's great, enjoy yourself but it only touches on what the OP is about; the reasons for which you believe. An emotional justification isn't reasonable by definition.

Well, while I think doing a certain thing to achieve certain feelings, "senses of" or emotions can be a fair justification for doing it - depending on the thing - I also mentioned an intellectual and social dimension, as well as a belief in the effect of offerings and religious experiences.
As part of the intellectual dimension I mentioned there are also philosophical elements that I enjoy and think are meaningful to implement in my life and understanding of the world.

Even if I lost my belief in the supernatural I would probably still continue to perform rituals - though maybe only the ones I do together with others.

Quote:You've had religious experiences. You've reached an emotional cresendo/ revelation/ something in the context of a religious ritual but that's explicable, without supernatural origin (...)

I agree, senses and expectations can fool you.
However, sometimes when I experience it during the ritual, when the world seems to become a liminal blur and you notice things you do not normally do, the whole place feels charged, I feel in contact with my gods, my family and the community of people I know and love.
That is pretty powerful stuff, and while I do not profess to be able to scientificly prove any of it as occurring outside of the minds of me and others, I still consider it an experience brought about by the correct contact with superhuman agency through ritual.

I do enjoy having a supernatural - or from my POW superhuman - dimension in my life, now, do you consider that a problem? And if yes, why?

Quote:(...) and experienced by the adherants of other religions.

That is not really a problem for me...

Quote:The world described by the religion isn't accurate to how the world evidently is. There is no evidence for the existence of your deities.

That depends entirely on what the religion professes compared to what we can say about the world with certainty Tongue

I establish contact with my gods and their world at charged and liminal spaces (often in nature) through rituals, they have their own world, but can cross over and affect this world and give luck and prosperity to those that give offerings to them.
They interact with the land and can bend/utilize natural forces.
Does that jive with physics? Some of it might, some of it probably does not, again that is where magic and belief in the super natural come in.

I only have anecdotal evidence, and since that does not cut it in the world of science: No, I do not have evidence - that's kinda where the whole belief thing comes in.

Quote: The spells and rituals described in your holy texts don't do anything.

With regarding to supernatural effects? I believe they do, but I only have anecdotal evidence so I cannot prove it.
This does not mean you can claim with complete certainty that they “don't do anything”, however I am aware that it is the default position until I am able to prove otherwise.

Now, that being said. Rituals and spells (to the extent that they are attached to a ritual or physical performance) definitely do something socially and cognitively which is worth factoring in, not only when trying to argue against performing them, but also when arguing for.

Quote:It has all the same problems as the other religions so; how can you reasonably profess belief?

I would probably differentiate a bit between individual religions... anyway, you might not see it as reasonable, but as you may have gathered from the above I have been moved by something I think is supernatural, and at the same time I think my religion is beneficial to have in my life – see above – so I don't really see how belief is an inconvenience.

There is absolutely, utterly no evidence that any of that is taking place other than in your own head.

You have been moved by emotion, simple as that.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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08-12-2014, 01:11 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(07-12-2014 06:47 PM)Gaest Wrote:  
Quote:So yeah. What you actually wrote:
That's all about your emotional investment in your beliefs. It's great, enjoy yourself but it only touches on what the OP is about; the reasons for which you believe. An emotional justification isn't reasonable by definition.

Well, while I think doing a certain thing to achieve certain feelings, "senses of" or emotions can be a fair justification for doing it - depending on the thing - I also mentioned an intellectual and social dimension, as well as a belief in the effect of offerings and religious experiences.
As part of the intellectual dimension I mentioned there are also philosophical elements that I enjoy and think are meaningful to implement in my life and understanding of the world.

Even if I lost my belief in the supernatural I would probably still continue to perform rituals - though maybe only the ones I do together with others.

Well yeah. Sure. But there's a difference between doing something you enjoy (Like. I dunno; Base Jumping or something. Something that takes commitment and is obviously exciting.) and basing your worldview off something that isn't evidently true.

One is intellectually honest. The other isn't.

Quote:
Quote:You've had religious experiences. You've reached an emotional cresendo/ revelation/ something in the context of a religious ritual but that's explicable, without supernatural origin (...)

I agree, senses and expectations can fool you.
However, sometimes when I experience it during the ritual, when the world seems to become a liminal blur and you notice things you do not normally do, the whole place feels charged, I feel in contact with my gods, my family and the community of people I know and love.
That is pretty powerful stuff, and while I do not profess to be able to scientificly prove any of it as occurring outside of the minds of me and others, I still consider it an experience brought about by the correct contact with superhuman agency through ritual.

You just said; "It's true because I feel it's true" and admitted to a complete lack of evidence.

Would you accept that justification from anybody else, on any other subject?

Quote:I do enjoy having a supernatural - or from my POW superhuman - dimension in my life, now, do you consider that a problem? And if yes, why?

Not necessarily (mostly because you're not being a dick about it) but I think honesty is important. That discovering truth and believing things that are true are worthy goals in and of themselves.

Quote:
Quote:(...) and experienced by the adherants of other religions.

That is not really a problem for me...

Why not? If somebody praying to the Brahma experiences a comparable stimuli, using an entirely different ritual, in an entirely different context, with entirely different expectations. Then that is evidence that one or both of you is not interacting with something supernatural.

Quote:
Quote:The world described by the religion isn't accurate to how the world evidently is. There is no evidence for the existence of your deities.

That depends entirely on what the religion professes compared to what we can say about the world with certainty Tongue

Like for example:
A common, extra dimensional source for all spring water. (Edit: Sorry. All "chilled" spring water.)
Transmogrification of a dead giant into either the earth or the entire material universe.
The earth existing before the sun.
An entirely different source of thunder and lightning.
Common descent not describing humans being created from plants.

That took me two minutes and I didn't get into logical and physical impossibilities the lack of any explanatory power, the demonstrable failure of the rituals/ wyrding/ whatever and general incoherence.

Quote:I establish contact with my gods and their world at charged and liminal spaces (often in nature) through rituals, they have their own world, but can cross over and affect this world and give luck and prosperity to those that give offerings to them.
They interact with the land and can bend/utilize natural forces.
Does that jive with physics? Some of it might,

*Snerk*

Quote:some of it probably does not, again that is where magic and belief in the super natural come in.

I only have anecdotal evidence, and since that does not cut it in the world of science: No, I do not have evidence - that's kinda where the whole belief thing comes in.

Nope. That's where faith (belief without evidence) comes in. When belief is supported by evidence it's said to be a true belief.

Of what value is faith in your religion?

Quote:
Quote: The spells and rituals described in your holy texts don't do anything.

With regarding to supernatural effects? I believe they do, but I only have anecdotal evidence so I cannot prove it.

So run an experiment.

What ritual in the holy book (I don't know if there's an official norse text or anything so I'll happily trust the one you use.) have you seen work? One that would produce tangible evidence of it's efficacy and produces a result that probably wouldn't have happened anyway. Go through all the steps and document it; making millions. (Probably more.)

I'll help make it a double blind study if you want.

Quote:This does not mean you can claim with complete certainty that they “don't do anything”, however I am aware that it is the default position until I am able to prove otherwise.

Now, that being said. Rituals and spells (to the extent that they are attached to a ritual or physical performance) definitely do something socially and cognitively which is worth factoring in, not only when trying to argue against performing them, but also when arguing for.

Which has nothing to do with weather or not they invoke supernatural power. Weather or not they work.

Quote:
Quote:It has all the same problems as the other religions so; how can you reasonably profess belief?

I would probably differentiate a bit between individual religions... anyway, you might not see it as reasonable, but as you may have gathered from the above I have been moved by something I think is supernatural, and at the same time I think my religion is beneficial to have in my life – see above – so I don't really see how belief is an inconvenience.

Name one religion that doesn't have those problems or a religion that has enough evidence to support it that it can be said to be true.

Apart from that; OK. Sure. Have fun.

Also: Belief isn't an inconvenience. Belief in things without evidence is dishonest but also not necessarily an inconvenience.

(That said I also said earlier: Truth=good. Not true=bad. Belief not true= bad. So I'm being a little inconsistent here.)

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
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08-12-2014, 01:47 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(07-12-2014 08:57 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(05-12-2014 05:45 PM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  It still happened but it's not in the movie. Does it count?

Sorry, I was never really into Star Wars, so I had a hard time following the analogy, particularly since it seemed to involve several different movies, and several different books which I’m not all that familiar with, that it appeared as if you were speaking a foreign langue.

I'll try again.

Character A gets told that they're going to do something very good. Character A or B maybe does that something very good and it's never done again. Ever. By anybody. Character B later reverses that something good.

All three events happen in the same universe. They are all informed by each other in context but in different stories by different authors.

What can be objectively said to have happened? How is that answer different if they were written by the same author?

Quote:
Quote:Need I really explain that the reality of a text is very different to the world around us?

I don’t know why you need to explain this, since I was only talking about the text themselves, and not necessarily what bearing these texts had on the reality of the world around us.

Except that's what "The Reality of the Text" means in academic circles. How well that story conforms to that which is objectively true about reality (things exist and behave in a certain way) and that which is subjectively true about reality. (Proper response to emotion. Whatever.)

Quote:
Quote:Shouldn't have made an absolute statement. That interpretation is as close to wrong as you can get because it has nothing to do with the cited evidence because it's not reasonable.

So, it’s not as you said: “There are no wrong interpretations in textual analisis either. Only more correct interpretations.”

There are wrong interpretations as my crude example showed, and all interpretation are not nearly more correct ones.

Only more correct interpretations that rise from the content of the text.

The only reason you're able to say that is because I made a retarded absolute statement.

Quote:But to summarize where we seem to stand, and where we likely may even agree:

Interpretations of texts, of stories, scripture etc.. is not purely subjective. There can in fact be right and wrong interpretations. And that rightness and wrongness is based on how well these interpretations are likely to be the authors own intent and meaning.

Nope. Death of the author.

Even auteur theory (which I have problems with), only says that the work can be said to have all it's content creating a coherent point and that point is best understood in the context of the auteur's intent. Not that the author has the correct interpretation.

Auteur theory also means that the author can be wrong about the content of their own work for reasons X, Y and Z in their background and intent.

Quote:The closer we are to rightness is based on however faithful we are to the reality of these texts, with the words, symbols, etc.. which we might even be able to better decipher by understanding the history, and audience, and culture at the time of writing, and how well we understand people and their psychologies.

That is almost word for word that I thought when we were getting into this stuff in class. I was wrong.

Is somebody watching Macbeth holding a "wrong" interpretation of the work because they don't believe in "the divine right of kings" which makes Lady Macbeth's machinations a "subversion of the natural order?" That is the intent under which it was written and the presumed mindset of the audience whom it was performed for.

Quote:But the truth in this regard is not one we get to the bottom of through the scientific method, as you state literary analysis is not scientific. Though science has the best track record of finding the truth, it’s relatively impotent hear in finding the truth, so we couldn’t make appeals to it, in order to uncover these sorts of truths. The question of meaning here, is not a scientific question at all, though there does seem to be truths to discover.

*Checks* Never did. Haven't yet.Rolleyes

The truth that rises from storytelling can only come from common experience. That makes it subjective. By relying on the content of the text (Content+Text. Context. Only just realized that.) and applying reason to the text we can say that some interpretations are more correct, because they account for more of the stories text.

Not because they reach closer to some nebulous "true meaning" that underlies the story.

Quote:My use of text was for the sake of analogy, to better grasp how we would explore the very question of meaning, not just in text but anywhere else too. We could say the same for films, movies, art, etc, and in fact the very question of whether life has meaning. This question is not one that we can engage with using the scientific method. Whether or not life has meaning, is not a truth we would be able to discover using the scientific method.

We can say that certain interpretation of life, like a common godless one, such as life is all meaningless sound, that there is no moral arc, or purpose to it, though likely true, would not be a scientific statement.

This is a far as I would like to take this for now, but I wanted to make these points clear.

I was hoping you weren't going to go here. Frankly I'm not interested in this part of the discussion. (I like movies and shit.)

There is no objective anything.

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
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08-12-2014, 08:06 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(08-12-2014 01:47 AM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  I'll try again.

Character A gets told that they're going to do something very good. Character A or B maybe does that something very good and it's never done again. Ever. By anybody. Character B later reverses that something good.

All three events happen in the same universe. They are all informed by each other in context but in different stories by different authors.


Couple of issues here. When you say good, are you judging what actions they were to do as good? Or are you saying the respective authors thought these actions were good? I can read Nietzsche, and speak of what he thought was good, without agreeing with him. Or I could agree with him, but my agreement would be irrelevant for the most part.

But if we are speaking exclusively about the authors, then what can objectively be said, is that the author of one particular version of the story, writes of a prophesy for one of their characters doing something good. But he never wrote a follow up book about the character fulfilling this prophecy. Another author wrote a retelling, or a follow up story, referencing the prophecy about the characters from a different author, had the character fulfill the prophecy in such and such a way, etc….

Since we are speaking of multiple authors, than we would be referring to each individuals authors intent. We might even be able to objectively speak of how these various authors attempted to tie the universe created by multiple authors together.

Quote:Only more correct interpretations that rise from the content of the text.

The only reason you're able to say that is because I made a retarded absolute statement.

Yet, we can still have interpretations that better use the content of the text more so than others. Even if multiple interpreters use the content of the text, some do so more reasonable, more accurately, more comprehensively than others, there by resulting in interpretations that are more likely to be true than others. An example would be an interpretation that might just use whats written in the text, and another interpretation that uses not only whats in the texts, but referencing the history, and culture at the time of the author. In such instances one author is able to get closer to the authors original intent better so than others. A NT testament scholar who is educated on the wide variety of these things, is likely to produce more accurate, more reasonable interpretations, than my devout mother who is ignorant of much of these things.

I’m hoping I don’t have to use another crude example to showcase this very point.
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08-12-2014, 06:26 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(08-12-2014 08:06 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(08-12-2014 01:47 AM)Stuffed_Assumption_Meringue Wrote:  I'll try again.

Character A gets told that they're going to do something very good. Character A or B maybe does that something very good and it's never done again. Ever. By anybody. Character B later reverses that something good.

All three events happen in the same universe. They are all informed by each other in context but in different stories by different authors.


Couple of issues here. When you say good, are you judging what actions they were to do as good? Or are you saying the respective authors thought these actions were good? I can read Nietzsche, and speak of what he thought was good, without agreeing with him. Or I could agree with him, but my agreement would be irrelevant for the most part.

For the sake of this discussion I don't care if your definition of good is punching babies in the colon. Ignore "good:" Character a gets told they're going to do something.

Quote:But if we are speaking exclusively about the authors, then what can objectively be said, is that the author of one particular version of the story, writes of a prophesy for one of their characters doing something good. But he never wrote a follow up book about the character fulfilling this prophecy. Another author wrote a retelling, or a follow up story, referencing the prophecy about the characters from a different author, had the character fulfill the prophecy in such and such a way, etc….

Since we are speaking of multiple authors, than we would be referring to each individuals authors intent. We might even be able to objectively speak of how these various authors attempted to tie the universe created by multiple authors together.

There can be no distinction made between the work of one author or another in the same storyline as it does not effect the content of the text or that which is presented to the audience.

Quote:Only more correct interpretations that rise from the content of the text.

The only reason you're able to say that is because I made a retarded absolute statement.

Yet, we can still have interpretations that better use the content of the text more so than others. Even if multiple interpreters use the content of the text, some do so more reasonable, more accurately, more comprehensively than others, there by resulting in interpretations that are more likely to be true than others.[/quote]

Which makes that interpretation more correct. It doesn't make the other interpretation wrong and it still doesn't make the best interpretation "true" because that would imply truth is present in the work.

Quote:An example would be an interpretation that might just use whats written in the text, and another interpretation that uses not only whats in the texts, but referencing the history, and culture at the time of the author. In such instances one author is able to get closer to the authors original intent better so than others. A NT testament scholar who is educated on the wide variety of these things, is likely to produce more accurate, more reasonable interpretations, than my devout mother who is ignorant of much of these things.

I’m hoping I don’t have to use another crude example to showcase this very point.

I'd just be repeating the point to reply to this section.

Soulless mutants of muscle and intent. There are billions of us; hardy, smart and dangerous. Shaped by millions of years of death. We are the definitive alpha predator. We build monsters of fire and stone. We bottled the sun. We nailed our god to a stick.

In man's struggle against the world, bet on the man.
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09-12-2014, 11:00 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
So what do you want?

Give me the tl;dr version of what you want from a theist.

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10-12-2014, 03:51 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
Uh oh, shit just got real. Big Grin

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10-12-2014, 07:36 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(09-12-2014 11:00 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  So what do you want?

Give me the tl;dr version of what you want from a theist.
I was looking for YOUR reason for believing in a god. No right or wrong answers, just your reason for still believing after seeing all of the evidence against all of the holy books presented on this forum.

Remember, just because you want something to be true, doesn't make it true. Yes, even if you have faith.
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10-12-2014, 07:50 AM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(10-12-2014 07:36 AM)microterf Wrote:  
(09-12-2014 11:00 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  So what do you want?

Give me the tl;dr version of what you want from a theist.
I was looking for YOUR reason for believing in a god. No right or wrong answers, just your reason for still believing after seeing all of the evidence against all of the holy books presented on this forum.

Oh ok.

Un-provable, anecdotal experience that applies only to me and no one else. My belief is based solely in faith and cannot be proved/disproved via empirical evidence as none exists.

Also:

Go here if you really want further reading. If that's tl;dr, then I can answer a few more questions.

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16-12-2014, 02:01 PM
RE: Theists, I want your best reasoning
(03-12-2014 07:02 PM)microterf Wrote:  I would like to hear the best argument that you can give for why YOU believe.

I'm not a theist (nor have I had a chance to read all the pages of this thread yet) but here's an angle that might interest you, if it hasn't already been covered above.

To make the question more interesting and productive, turn it around and ask it of yourself. Why do YOU believe, whatever it is you believe?

It's highly unlikely you will persuade religious believers or they will persuade you. It's probably almost as unlikely either party will learn much from the other that they don't already know. Thus, your question as phrased might be dead end.

However, if you aim the question at your own beliefs, you are in the driver's seat and can take the investigation as deep as you dare to go, without relying on anything anyone else might or might not do.

My guess is that religious believers hold their beliefs for fundamentally the same reason you hold your beliefs (dig below the surface differences) so whatever you learn about your relationship with your own beliefs may give you deeper insight in to why religious people hold their beliefs.
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